Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Salle de Valentino, 1855 - UPDATED



SALLE DE VALENTINO,
Late Beechworth Assembly Rooms.
Grand Promenade Concert
and Ball,
ADMISSION FREE,
ON MONDAY, 16TH APRIL,and every other evening during the week, except Saturdays,
on which occasion a
Free and Easy
will be held.
 Programme :
Polka- 'Grand Sultan.' 
Quadrille- from 'Lucrezia Borgia.'
Song- 'Far, far upon the sea.'   
Schottische-
Opera.
Song - 'When swallows homeward fly,'
Waltz- 'Georgette.'
Duett- 'Am I not fondly thine own.'
Descriptive- Russian War Galop.

INTERMISSION.

Quadrille- 'Exhibition.'
Song- 'The Fortunate Man.'
Polka- 'Beechworth' (first time), composed by Mr. G. Griffith.
Song- 'The Marseillaise.'
Galop- 'Mount Etna.'
Finale- 'God Save the Queen.'

Advertising. (1855, April 14). Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 - 1866; 1914 -1918), p. 5. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113013300

 In this advertisement for a Grand Promenade Concert and Ball, George features in the program with his own composition, performed for the first time, a polka called Beechworth.  No other trace of this piece of music exists - missing like so many other pieces of colonial music. 

The "Salle de Valentino" or Valentino Room, was the Assembly Hall attached to the Beechworth Hotel a few months earlier.  It may have taken it's name from a similar venue in Melbourne, operating from 1854, which Robyn Annear described as "a vast canvas dancehall with resident polka band" in her book on Whelan the Wrecker.  This Salle had borrowed its name, from an entertainment venue in London.

This is the only reference so far located suggesting that George Griffith composed music, but we will live in hope.

UPDATED  This concert in Beechworth, to be held on Monday 16 April, was scheduled only two days after the birth of Edward George Griffith in Wangaratta. Various advertisements indicate that George was working in Beechworth in 1855, which suggests that Susan was staying in Wangaratta awaiting the birth of her child.  When the baby was registered by Susan in Beechworth a month later, she did not record any attendants at the birth neither doctor nor midwife.  However, on that score I am familiar with another Registrar who declined to record the names of midwives, and it may be that the information was provided but not recorded. 

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